How to Backup iPhone to External Hard Drive  [Step by Step]

Backing up data on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac regularly is crucial to ensure that you don’t lose data if your device fails, is lost, or is stolen. Since iTunes leaves large files behind after each data backup, these backups take up a lot of storage space on your computer, so using iTunes to back up data is not a perfect long-term solution for computers with little capacity.


Is your computer or iCloud giving you a “Out of Memory” warning? You urgently need to transfer your iPhone backups to an external hard drive. It’s not easy to change the default storage path of iTunes, but you can still do it. This article will guide you how to back up iPhone to external hard drive with or without iTunes.

Way 1:How to back up iPhone to external hard drive on windows without iTunes

As we all know, backing up iPhone to an external hard drive with iTunes requires a series of complicated and meticulous operations. Therefore, to prevent you from being overwhelmed by too many operation steps, this article will first introduce the professional iPhone backup tool-iSunshare iSyncGenius, which allows you to backup iPhone to external hard drive with just a few clicks. This is recognized as the easiest and most effective method.

Overview of iSunshare iSyncGenius features:

* Backup iPhone data from iPhone to Windows 

* Transfer data from iphone to iphone

* Manage iPhone backup easily

How to backup iphone directly to external hard drive with iSunshare iSyncGenius ? You should first download and install iSunshare iSyncGenius on your computer, and connect your iPhone to your computer with a USB cable.

Step 1: Run the software. iSunshare iSyncGenius will automatically detect your iPhone model, and you should click “Next” to continue.


Step 2: You can see the names and file sizes of all the file types that need to be backed up.


Then click the “Choose” button to select the backup path. Depending on your needs, you should select the folder on your external hard drive as your file storage path.


Step 3: After the storage path is selected, click the “Start” button to start backing up iPhone data, which will take some time.


Soon, the iPhone data will be successfully backed up to an external hard drive.


Way 2:How to back up iPhone to external hard drive on Windows with iTunes

To avoid damaging any backup files, before starting the steps to backup iPhone to external hard drive on windows with iTunes, you need to make a complete copy of the original backup saved in the default backup location and then restore it when you have created a new path.

Step 1: Upgrade iTunes on your computer to the latest version and insert your external hard drive after your iPhone is connected to windows.

Step 2: Find and delete the folder of the default storage path of iTunes in your computer: first find the default storage path of iTunes on your computer: C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup, confirm again that you have copied and saved the complete folder, and then delete or rename the folder.


Step 3: Create a new folder on your external hard drive, for easy identification you should name it “iPhoneBackup“.

Step 4: Use the “Win+R” shortcut key to open a CMD window and run it with administrator privileges.

Enter the command character to change the storage path: mklink /J “C:\Users\Reind (your computer’s username)\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup“H:\iPhoneBackup” (H refers to the disk letter of the external hard disk),  and then press “Enter” to run.


Step 5: Open iTunes and start the backup. In the “Auto Backup” option, select “This Computer“, then click “Back Up Now” to start the backup and wait for a while. iTunes will store the full backup on the external hard drive.


Way 3:How to back up iPhone to external hard drive on Mac with iTunes

If you are used to using ios system instead of windows system, we have prepared for you about how to backup iPhone on external hard drive on Mac. What you need to know is that this operation is also very complicated.

Step 1: Connect the external hard drive to your Mac device, then create a folder in the hard drive and name it “iPhoneBackUp” which will be easy for you to identify.

Step 2: Open Finder, click “Command + N” shortcut to create a new Finder window, then press “Command + Shift + G” shortcut in the new window and type ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup in the pop-up window, which will take you to the original file storage location.

Step 3: Copy the folder named “Backup” completely and paste it in the new folder “iPhoneBackup” on the external hard drive. After you have completely transferred the backup files, delete or rename the “BackUp” folder.

Step 4: Go to Finder > Applications > Utilities and open Terminal and enter the following command character to replace the original storage path of iTunes backup: ln -s/Volumes/Reind(username)/iPhoneBackups(name of the newly created folder)/Backup/ 

Step 5: Open iTunes and select the Backup to “This Computer” option and your iPhone backup will be stored on an external hard drive. If this completes successfully, the Finder app should show two different backup folders when you access your iPhone from your Mac.



The above is about how to backup iPhone to external hard drive. As you have learned, using a professional iPhone backup tool-iSunshare iSyncGenius can make the steps of backing up iPhone to external hard drive easy and it can help you save more time. Besides, it also allows you to manage iPhone backup files on external hard drive easily. All in all,  it is worth a try until you find a better way.

Passionate about design, especially smartphones, gadgets and tablets. Blogging on this site since 2008 and discovering prototypes and trends before bigshot companies sometimes